The permanency of the state of emergency in Turkey
Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft
Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH und Co. KG
521 - 534
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Working on the state of emergency/exception requires inevitably an idea of normality. For the first time the Roman law came up with the idea of ruling the state of exception before the exceptional conditions emerge and the Romans decided to locate the exceptional power beside the normal system. Even the terms and the content of the exceptional powers of the Roman dictators have been changed over time, the separation of their extra-legal powers from the regular system and the system-intern control of these powers stayed the core of the regulations. On the other hand, most of the modern constitutional states have preferred to locate the exceptional, mostly executive powers, within the system and guaranteed a parliamentary and especially judicial control over the use of these constitution-based powers. So, the normative rules on the state of exception in modern constitutional states are still a dependent variable. The state of emergency regimes is seen as a special form of upholding the rule of law principles and are bounded to the status quo with help of the courts. This article examines the evolution of the normative regulations of the state of emergency in Turkey in the light of the jurisprudence of the Turkish Constitutional Court. Despite the constitutional restriction in Article 148 par. 1 that forbids the constitutionality control of the emergency decrees by the Constitutional Court the Turkish Constitution of 1982 could have also been subordinated to the system of modern constitutional states. The article summarizes the interpretation of the restrictive constitutional norms by the Turkish Constitutional Court in the 1990’s in a very progressive way. In the second part I analyse the content of the thirty-two state of emergency decrees as of the attempted coup d’état in 15 July 2016 and show the shift from the state of exception regime under the rule of law to the nonrevolutionary constituent power without any legal restrictions. The main subject of this analysis is to show the “legal revolutionary effect” of the TCC decisions after October 2016 which have abandoned its former concept of the constitutional limits of the emergency regimes and in fact give up its own functional existence and legitimacy within the constitutional system.